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100% cotton fabrics used for garments from the
home dec department
ccris
ccris
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Date: 3/2/14 3:15 PM

I've noticed some of these 100% cotton lighter weight home dec fabrics are marked "preshrunk" on the selvedge edge. When used for garment sewing, have you ever found they shrunk more after pre washing or after the garment was sewed?



arianamaniacs
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Date: 3/3/14 6:51 AM

As a rule, I always wash fabrics before sewing. Not only is it then pre-shrunk, but it washes out the invisible chemicals sprayed on yardage to give it sheen or keep bugs off.

You also get to see how your garment will perform when washed. It would be a shame to launder after the fact and then be unhappy with shrinkage, fabric manufacture problems ( ever had fabric disintegrate after washing?) etc.

KathySews
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Date: 3/3/14 8:25 AM

I have not used home dec for clothing and use it as is for pillows and curtains. That said I would still prewash because home dec fabrics will not get the frequent washing that clothing gets. Also there is more sizing and treatments in the fabric to make it sturdier. That could be irritating to skin.

bakertoo
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bakertoo
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Date: 3/3/14 11:42 AM

I have the colors run and fade when I have washed some of those fabrics. And the structure has sometimes changed, where even pressing hasn't been able to straighten out the grain lines.

Chemical
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Date: 3/3/14 3:39 PM

I wash everything. I haven't used cotton home dec fabric that much for sewing garments (I've used more silk home dec-- made a great scarf last year!) but in my experience there has been some shrinkage and quite a bit of hand change. Seems like they really starch up and put a lot sizing and finishing chemicals in home dec stuff. I haven't had colors run or a fabric go off grain, but then again I don't have tons of experience.

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Not keeping track of my stash anymore... just trying to sew it up and not buy more!!!

ccris
ccris
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Date: 3/3/14 5:17 PM

Thanks guys, but I probably shouldn't have mentioned using 100% home dec cotton for garment sewing. All I really wanted to know was if 100% preshrunk cotton home dec fabric shrinks further when washed. The fabric does say it's cold machine washable. So, I'm supposing it probably doesn't shrink in cold water, BUT, if I used warm or hot water, it probably would. Nothing like extra words to further confuse.



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Date: 3/4/14 10:24 PM

I'd say whether it shrinks or not depends on how the manufacturer made it, it's final treatments, etc.

I've used a lot of home dec fabric for clothes. I wash it all. If it doesn't survive I don't want it. In general I use a warm wash and dry in the dryer. I rarely have a problem and have not found shrinkage to be an issue. I have washed tapestries backed with polypropylene, heavy linens, sheers, cottons, etc. The one thing they all have in common is that they all get much much softer to the touch and therefore make a much nicer garment. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

sings2high
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Date: 3/4/14 11:01 PM

Only one word of caution - if you use vintage home dec fabrics, avoid anything made with fiberglass. That goes for garment sewing as well as home decoration. Nothing like somebody accidentally washing fiberglass curtains with a load of underwear to prompt an unplanned buying spree!

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Measure twice, cut once. While this saying is useful in many ways, I have no qualms about editing my posts.

UFOs completed in 2014: 1 - woohoo! finished my oldest UFO - an apron cut out in the mid-80s with a pattern from the mid-40s! and the bias binding promptly disintegrated in the wash! Ok, it was from my Great-Grandmother's stash, which means it was bought anytime from the 1910's to 1970's.
Projects started recently completed in 2014: 4
New Projects started in 2014: 5
Stash:
sewn in 2014: 5
bought in 2014: 17.25

I know...I'm procrastinating.

arianamaniacs
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Date: 3/5/14 6:18 AM

At the end of the day, preshrunk usually means mostly preshrunktest-wash a sample and then youll have a more definitive answer :)

kitphantom
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Date: 3/5/14 2:27 PM

Sampling is best. While not exactly home dec, we bought a large quantity of "boat shrunk" canvas - never did find out what that was supposed to mean. After deciding not to use it for the original project, we used it for cushion covers and other projects. Just to be safe, we washed and dried a yard - which shrunk at least 4" over that linear yard.
Other home dec fabrics I've used have been stable, shrunk slightly, or changed hand enough to not use them as planned.

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Bernina: 910, 930, 180, 440
Bernina 1150MDA
Bernette 004D serger
Vintage/classic Singer: 201, 301, 221

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